FRUITLAND - Krista King, the new executive director of the Fruitland Area Chamber of Commerce, comes into her new office with big goals in mind. Before a full house at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon at St. Luke’s Medical Center on March 4, King presented her goals to business and community leaders.
King, who formerly handled membership development for the Meridian Chamber of Commerce, said she aims to take an individual approach to members’ concerns.
“My mission is to reach out to everybody and start to have some one-on-ones with each chamber member, and just learn about what you might need as a chamber member and how I can help your business,” said King to those present. “Really I wanted to focus at first … how can the chamber really help your business? What are some things that we can do to connect you more to the community?”
King reminded those present that while she wants to celebrate new businesses that move into town, the Chamber wants to celebrate established businesses.
“Even a one-year anniversary party, a five-year anniversary party, or you just want to host an open house … my mission is to get people to know your business, get you really connected,” King added. “I think we can all become such a big family of Chamber members and just learn from each other and really help each other.”
King also polled members present to help establish a business after hours program. The launch of that program is yet to be determined.
King pointed out to those present the Fruitland Chamber’s new Instagram page, @fruitlandchamber, aimed to showcase members’ businesses more effectively.
The biggest item on King’s to-do list is perhaps a new business ambassador program she wishes to launch.
“Ambassadors are really key to a Chamber; They really help us function … they’re essentially volunteers, but they’re more than just a volunteer. They’re really also the face of the Chamber as well. They help us connect more to each member.”
King said having an Ambassador program will benefit the Chamber’s membership and its visibility to customers as the community continues to grow, which King said she sees trending upward still.
“As a chamber, my vision is to have us all come together as a strong unit, and really help build our community together,” she said.
To testify of how an ambassador program could help with business growth, King invited Shara Hazzard, an account executive for KNIN-TV to share her experience as an ambassador for the Meridian Chamber.
“A couple of months after I started [at KNIN], my boss said ‘I want you to be an ambassador for the Meridian chamber.’ And I was like, ‘What’s that?’” said Hazzard to attendees.
Hazzard went on to talk about how being an ambassador has helped her understand what it means to connect with businesses and with the public.
“They’re often considered the goodwill or hospitality arm; It’s important to have extra arms out there to help,” said Hazzard. “It has done me really well … I’ve made some great friends, great great referrals, great networking. I plan to continue to do it.”
Hazzard also mentioned the importance of having turnout for ribbon-cutting events:
“You wouldn’t want to have a ribbon-cutting and [only] two people show up.”
King added via email that her overall mission is to see members of the Chamber come together to make growth happen, she said.
“I think they [the Chamber Board] have done a great job at getting the Fruitland Chamber back up and running. I look to enhance the Chamber with my experience I gained by working for the Meridian Chamber. I am working on enhancing our social media following and offering more networking events for our members to connect. I look forward to growing the chamber and really helping our members get connected in the community more. I am excited to roll out our Ambassador program as well.”
King plans to roll out the Ambassador program in April, and has said participants will have access to events just for ambassadors, as well as getting to connect with new members right away.